Fidelity iPhone App

Updated Friday, September 13, 2013
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iPhone App Grade: B

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Overview:

The Fidelity Investments iPhone app offers a very nice experience that has greatly improved in more recent releases. All of the basic features such as account information, quotes, market news and watch lists are here. More advanced account features such as funds transfers, check deposits and bill pay are also present. Trade alerts and news features are fantastically implemented. The charts are some of the best that you will find on a small form factor device. The stock and options trading interfaces have improved in recent releases but we are still slightly wary of potential limit price execution issues in extreme cases. Overall, the Fidelity iPhone app is now among the elite broker mobile trading platforms.

App Store Facts:


Details:

When users open the Fidelity Investments iPhone app they are greeted with a configurable home page. Touch the Edit button in the top right corner to see the list of available menus (9 in total), select the ones that you want to keep, and touch Done to define your personalized homepage. This is a great design innovation for a broker app. Besides the user customizable homepage, there is also a nicely designed slide out menu.

The general app menus are available upon opening the app while account specific menus are only available upon logging in. The app stores your user name and saves sessions for an indeterminate amount of time, so you don't have to type in your password each time you re-open the app. The session functionality is new as of version 2 of the app.

Below is an overview of the major app features:

Accounts
The accounts menu features a list of positions, balances, orders and activity history. If you select one of your positions it will bring up a separate view with the detailed quote.

Transfer Money
A new feature to version 1.4 of the app is the ability to transfer funds from an external bank account to Fidelity and vice versa. This is now a fairly standard broker app feature.

Deposit Checks
New to version 1.5.1 is the ability to deposit checks by taking a photo on the iPhone. Enter this menu and then agree to the terms to instantly gain access.

Pay Bills
Bill pay is one of the newer app features and it is only available for certain account types.

Investor Centers
Use the Investor Centers menu to find the nearest Fidelity branch.

News + Videos
The latest news menu features stories covering US markets, international markets, technology, mergers & acquisitions, IPOs and more. News articles are provided by Reuters, MarketWatch, CNNMoney and more. This is one of the best organized and most comprehensive market news sections among all broker apps.

Watch List
Watch lists are user customizable groupings of stock quotes. Creating new lists and adding stocks is a breeze. Here is a watch list that we created consisting of major oil companies:


Alerts
Alerts are user customizable event notifications. There are two types of alerts: price triggers and trade notifications. The trade alerts can be configured within the app and are very well designed with a lot of useful trigger types. Here is a trade alert that we configured to alert us when the price of Apple (AAPL) hits a certain price:

Quotes
The quote menu allows features stock or option prices. The app also keeps track of search history for a quick references to recent searches. The quotes menu consists of detailed trading data, charts, company related news and more.

Charts
Charts are accessed from the quotes menu and then turning the iPhone sideways. Charts can be viewed with a plot type of line, mountain, candlestick and open / high / low / close (OHLC). Swipe left and right to view charts over a different time period. Up to two symbols can be shown on a single chart and SMA and EMA technical indicators are available. These are some of the better mobile charts in the business. Here is a look at a chart of Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG) with SMA indicator:

Stock Trading
To trade stocks, select the Trade menu item or go to the quote page for a stock and then select the trade button at the top right corner of the screen.

Order types available are market, limit, stop loss, stop limit, trailing stop loss $ / % and trailing stop limit $ / %. This is quite an extensive list of order types but is limited when compared to the full web based Fidelity trading platform.

Here is an order we put in to trade Apple (APPL):



When we were satisfied with our order we selected the Preview Order button. A warning message appeared because our limit price was above the last traded price. This warning is annoying as we reguarly put in orders of this type but thankfully it can simply be ignored. Everything looked OK so we selected the Place Order button. After that, a message appeared noting that our order was received. We were also provided with an order confirmation number and a link to view the order status.

From the order status menu, open orders can be canceled but they cannot be modified. Once orders execute, all positions can be viewed in the Account Positions menu. Unfortunately, there is no functionality to close out holdings from this menu.

On a separate order, we attempted to submit a limit trade but the order was rejected. The error message noted that the limit price cannot be more than 50% away from the last trade. This is the same issue that is present in the standard web based Fidelity application. In most circumstances, this is a reasonable safeguard but in a few cases, such as before the market opens on very volatile securities, this limit price rule could cause major issues for traders. We really wish Fidelity would replace this restriction with a simple warning message that can be bypassed.

Options Trading
To trade options, select the Trade menu item and then select the Options tab or open a quote, open the options chain menu and then select the desired contract. Trading from the options chain menu is far superior because the trade ticket does not help you determine the options contract name.

Option chains can be filtered for date and strike ranges but a simple selection of contract months would work better. Here is a look at the option contracts for Apple (AAPL) that are set to expire in February:


Select any contract to bring up a detailed contract information page that features nice detailed pricing information and a price chart that is sometimes populated. We found the contract that we were after so from this menu we selected to trade by selecting the top right Trade button. This brought up the options trade ticket with the symbol populated and a listing of the latest bid / ask prices. This functionality has been improved in more recent versions of the app.

When everything was set we selected the Preview Order button:


This brought up the Preview Order menu. After we reviewed the details we selected the Place Order button. After that, a message appeared noting that our order was received. We were also provided with an order confirmation number and a link to view the order status. As with stock orders, open option orders can be canceled but they cannot be modified.

Once orders execute, all positions can be viewed in the Account Positions menu. Unfortunately, there is no functionality to close out holdings from this menu.


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